Frank Schoonover

Creator Name: Frank Schoonover
Creator Type: Art
Dates: 1877 - 1972
Language: English

Frank Earle Schoonover (August 19, 1877 – September 1, 1972) was an American illustrator who worked in Wilmington, Delaware. A member of the Brandywine School, he was a contributing illustrator to magazines and did more than 5,000 paintings.

Early life

Schoonover was born on August 19, 1877 in Oxford, New Jersey. He studied under Howard Pyle at the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia.


Schoonover became part of what would be known as the Brandywine School. A prolific contributor to books and magazines during the early twentieth century, the so-called "Golden Age of Illustration", he illustrated stories as diverse as Clarence Mulford's Hopalong Cassidy stories and Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Princess of Mars. In 1918 and 1919, he produced a series of paintings along with Gayle Porter Hoskins illustrating the American forces in the First World War for a series of souvenir prints published in the Ladies Home Journal. Over the course of his career, he did more than 5,000 paintings.

Schoonover helped to organize what is now the Delaware Art Museum and was chairman of the fundraising committee charged with acquiring works by Howard Pyle. In his later years he restored paintings including some by Pyle and turned to easel paintings of the Brandywine and Delaware landscapes. He also gave art lessons, established a small art school in his studio, designed stained glass windows, and dabbled in science fiction art (illustrating Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars), he was known locally as the “Dean of Delaware Artists.”


Schoonover died on September 1, 1972 in Wilmington, Delaware, at 95.

Alvin York painting

Schoonover’s name received national attention in 2011 when his painting of World War I hero Alvin C. York was returned to York’s home state of Tennessee. Businessman and philanthropist Allan Jones of Cleveland, Tennessee purchased the painting on Veteran’s Day from the Blakeslee Gallery in Wellington, Florida.

Jones said, "When I learned that Mr. Blakeslee would consider selling the painting to the right buyer, I felt it was essential to bring this piece back to its rightful home in Tennessee and have the painting here on Veterans Day 11-11-11."

Prior to being acquired by Jones, the painting was on loan to the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum.

See also

  • Brandywine School
  • Delaware Art Museum
  • Frank E. Schoonover Studios



  • Laurence S Cutler; Judy Goffman Cutler; National Museum of American Illustration. Maxfield Parrish and the American Imagists. Edison, NJ: Wellfleet Press, 2004. ISBN 0-7858-1817-0; ISBN 978-0-7858-1817-5
  • Harrington, Peter, "Images of the Great War," American History, Vol. XXXI, No. 5, Nov-Dec. 1996, pp. 30–36, 64
  • Harrington, Peter, "The Great War Paintings of Frank E. Schoonover," Military Heritage, No. 1, August 1999, pp. 66–69.

External links

  • Bud Plant's Biography
  • Frank Schoonover fund
  • Schoonover Studios
  • The National Museum of American Illustration
  • Delaware Art Museum
  • Works by Frank Earle Schoonover at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by or about Frank Schoonover at Internet Archive
  • Frank E. Schoonover at Library of Congress Authorities, with 34 catalog records
  • "Finding Aids - Frank E. Schoonover negatives". Hagley Museum. Retrieved February 27, 2018.

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